Transport Unions Say No to Violence Against Women

Delegates from all around the world gathered to discuss union action to prevent violence against women.

Delegates from all around the world gathered at the ITF Congress 2014 to discuss union action to prevent violence against women.

Violence against women is a global atrocity and the transport industry is by no means exempt. Physical assault, verbal abuse, emotional intimidation and sexual harassment shape the lives of millions of women around the world.

Chaired by Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary of UNITE, speakers included Neda Abuzant from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor in Canada, Sheela Naikwade from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Union (MHTKS) and Mick Doleman who is Deputy National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia.

Sheela Naikwade told a terrible story of a woman who was beaten on a bus and when a female conductor tried to intervene, she was beaten as well. No-one stepped in to help either woman. "This is an incredibly sad thing and more work needs to be done,” she said.

Jerry Dias spoke of the steps his union has taken to ensure there are women in leadership positions and described violence against women as something men have to fix.

This was echoed by Mick Doleman, who is an ambassador of the White Ribbon campaign, which originated in Canada.

"Domestic violence is as much union work as wages, safety and job conditions,” he said.